The Jaguars' defense has been a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators.
Rival quarterbacks have a 63.5-percent passer rating against Todd Wash's defense. The Jaguars lead the league with 35 sacks and are allowing just 156.4 passing yards per game.
It's a complete departure from last year's middling group.
During an interview with the Teal and Black Blitz on SportsRadio930, cornerback Aaron Colvin said the group is just starting to find its rhythm.
"I think the biggest thing for us right now is we're playing confident," Colvin said. "I think that we're starting to realize how good we really can be or how good we are. We still know we have a ways to go, and again [Week 9 was] our first home win, so we have to continue to build off of that but at the end of the day, if we play with the energy, if we play with a swagger that we bring out there when we win, we can win every game."
Colvin and his defensive teammates are playing as a group. Everyone understands what they are being asked to do and they are delivering on the expectations set forth by their coaches.
"We know that if one guy doesn't do the right thing, this defense can get exposed, that's just the kind of defense that it is," Colvin said. "I think that everybody is starting to realize that and if we want to become that good playoff team, I think that you have to buy in. There can't be individuals here, individuals there."
Buying in has been easy for several players on the Jaguars' defense. The defensive coaches, led by Wash, have opened up the scheme to allow their players to thrive.
"I feel like they do a good job of just letting us be who we are," Colvin said regarding the coaching staff. "They allow us to play the way we are comfortable playing."
Colvin said the coaches are giving the players freedom within the scheme. They are still being asked to do their jobs but are also allowed to play in a way that is beneficial to both the individual players and the unit.
Colvin explained that the coaches are allowing for the approach to be adjusted at the players' discretion.
The players aren't freelancing. They are playing their roles within the scheme with the ability to improvise. It has helped the players make the most of their individual skill sets.
The approach is a far cry from the static operation run by Gus Bradley's regime in previous years. Bradley typically focused on his scheme instead of the talent of his individual players.
"No question," Colvin said. "It was a little bit more cut-and-dry last year. More 'whatever's in this box that's what you're going to do,' but right now they're allowing us to have a little bit more freedom. There's still structure in it but each week as we continue to play better, they allow us to do more. It's definitely a luxury and we plan on keeping it that way."
The next test for the Jaguars' defense will come from the Los Angeles Chargers. Quarterback Philip Rivers has historically dominated the Jaguars, so the unit can prove its legitimacy by taming the Chargers' passing game.
Jacksonville will host the Chargers at EverBank Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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